journal entry for amortization

However, there is a key difference in amortization vs. depreciation. An accumulated amortization account is a contra-asset account, which is a type of contra account. This means that it offsets the value of the intangible asset account on the balance sheet. When amortization is charged, it is shown on the debit side of the income statement as an expense. This means some value of the intangible asset was used in the current accounting period, and the value was therefore reduced. Generally speaking, there is accounting guidance via GAAP on how to treat different types of assets.

The discount of $3,851 is treated as an additional interest expense over the life of the bonds. When the same amount of bond discount is recorded each year, it is referred to as straight-line amortization. In this example, the straight-line amortization would be $770.20 ($3,851 divided by the 5-year life of the bond). The amount of the lease liability is based on the present value of the future lease payments, and it is typically reported as a long-term liability. Since lease liabilities represent a company’s obligation to pay future lease payments, they are considered a form of debt and are typically included in the calculation of total debt. Congratulations, you’ve made it through some very exciting material!

How does Amortization work?

Almost all intangible assets are amortized over their useful life using the straight-line method. This means the same amount of amortization expense is recognized each year. On the other hand, there are several depreciation methods a company can choose from. These options differentiate the amount of depreciation expense a company may recognize in a given year, yielding different net income calculations based on the option chosen. Amortization in accounting is the process of expending an asset’s value over the period of its useful life in your balance sheet.

journal entry for amortization

On the other hand, the accumulated amortization results in a decrease in the intangible asset value in the Balance Sheet. It means the balance of the assets will decrease in order to increase the expense. However, it is a bit complicated as we will not credit assets balance directly. We create another account which is the accumulated amortization to be the contra account of the intangible assets. When this account balance increases, it will decrease the assets’ net book value on balance sheet. The reported balance of intangibles will decrease, but we can still see the original cost.


For example, an insurance policy may offer a different level of coverage at the beginning of the term than it does at the end. In this instance, the amortization would reflect a different cost for the corresponding reporting periods. The full value of the prepaid expense is recorded as a debit to the asset account and as a credit to the cash account. Common examples include administrative expenses, such as rent or leases, advertising, legal retainers, estimated taxes, and other recurring expenses that can be lumped into one prepaid expense. In other words, the business must determine what the expense would cost if it were paid for on a monthly basis instead of all at once for the entire year.

Ensure services revenue has been accurately recorded and related payments are reflected properly on the balance sheet. Increase accuracy and efficiency across your account reconciliation process and produce timely and accurate financial statements. Drive accuracy in the financial close by providing a streamlined method to substantiate your balance sheet. Amortization expense is the income statement item that represents the allocated cost of the intangible asset for the period.

Use of Contra Account

So, the cost required to procure or manage the asset is recorded in the expense sheet rather than the income statement. By decreasing the assets’ value, you thereby reduce the taxable income. Instead of using a contra‐asset account to record accumulated amortization, most companies decrease hr webinars on demand the balance of the intangible asset directly. In such cases, amortization expense of $10,000 is recorded by debiting amortization expense for $10,000 and crediting the patent for $10,000. Amortization of intangible assets is handled differently than depreciation of tangible assets.

What is the journal entry to record depreciation or amortization expense?

The basic journal entry for depreciation is to debit the Depreciation Expense account (which appears in the income statement) and credit the Accumulated Depreciation account (which appears in the balance sheet as a contra account that reduces the amount of fixed assets).

For example, vehicles, buildings, and equipment are tangible assets that you can depreciate. With the above information, use the amortization expense formula to find the journal entry amount. Amortization means spreading the cost of an intangible asset over its useful life. Suppose a company purchases a patent for 50,000 with a useful life of 5 years.

Examples of Intangible Assets

Orange Inc. purchased the entire business of Purple Inc. for a cash price of $20,00,000. As of the date of acquisition, the fair value of assets was $30,00,000, and external liabilities amounted to $15,00,000. Accordingly, the net worth of Purple Inc. was $15,00,000(30 – 15), but here Orange Inc. paid $5,00,000 in excess of fair market value.

Instead, there is accounting guidance that determines whether it is correct to amortize or depreciate an asset. Both terminologies spread the cost of an asset over its useful life, and a company doesn’t gain any financial advantage through one as opposed to the other. Amortization and depreciation are the two main methods of calculating the value of these assets, with the key difference between the two methods involving the type of asset being expensed. In addition, there are differences in the methods allowed, components of the calculations, and how they are presented on financial statements. Goodwill is considered an intangible, i.e., a non-monetary asset without a physical substance.

Depreciation Methods

Accounting rules stipulate that physical, tangible assets (with exceptions for non-depreciable assets) are to be depreciated, while intangible assets are amortized. A loan doesn’t deteriorate in value or become worn down over use like physical assets do. Loans are also amortized because the original asset value holds little value in consideration for a financial statement. Though the notes may contain the payment history, a company only needs to record its currently level of debt as opposed to the historical value less a contra asset.

Simplification May Not be so Simple – The CPA Journal

Simplification May Not be so Simple.

Posted: Thu, 01 Jun 2023 13:51:31 GMT [source]

In an operating lease, the lessee is the party who obtains the right to use an asset from the lessor in exchange for periodic lease payments. The lessor is the party who owns the asset and leases it out to the lessee. The lessee records rental payments as expenses in the book of accounts. In contrast, the lessor records the property as an asset and depreciates it over its useful life. If you are a lessee, you should record an operating lease on your company’s balance sheet as a right-of-use asset and a lease liability.

How do you record amortization journal entry?

Record amortization expenses on the income statement under a line item called “depreciation and amortization.” Debit the amortization expense to increase the asset account and reduce revenue. Credit the intangible asset for the value of the expense.

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